Draymond Green speaks on free agency after playoff loss: 'I want to be a Warrior for the rest of my life'
With a loss to the Lakers in the Western Conference Semifinals, the Warriors' title defense has officially come to an end.
After a season of internal strife, confounding road woes, and disappointing showings, Golden State enters the offseason with more questions than answers. One of the biggest questions surrounds the future of Draymond Green, who can decline his player option to become an unrestricted free agent this offseason.
As Green spoke with reporters following Golden State's season-ending loss, he wasn't shy about addressing the elephant in the room as one of his main priorities.
"We'll see what happens as far as my contract goes," Green said during his postgame press conference. "Obviously, I have an opt-out, everybody knows about that — I know about that, I'm aware of that.
"As I've told you guys through the years, I want to be a Warrior for the rest of my life. I want to ride out with the same dudes that I rode in with."
"I want to be a Warrior for the rest of my life." - Draymond pic.twitter.com/tmaSocYqYo— Warriors on NBCS (@NBCSWarriors) May 13, 2023
Green, of course, is referencing the core that features him, Stephen Curry, and Klay Thompson, a trio that has been together since the 2011-12 season and won four championships in 11 years.
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Curry is under contract through the 2025-26 season while Thompson's contract runs through the 2023-24 campaign. Both Green and Thompson are 33 years old while Curry is the trio's elder statesman at 35.
When looking toward the future, Green also reflected upon the past, saying that "we've put the work in to make (finishing together) happen. Here we are — our worst season as a whole since 2014, and, yet, we had another chance to make a run.
"It's never as bad as it seems, it's never as good as it seems."
Save for two injury-riddled seasons from 2019 to 2021, the Warriors have been on a dynastic run that began with the hiring of Steve Kerr in 2014.
Over the course of nine seasons, the team made seven playoff appearances, six of which resulted in NBA Finals appearances and four ending with the aforementioned championship rings.
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Now, the focus shifts to whether or not there are ways to fix the woes that contributed to this season's disappointing results, ones which both Green and Kerr admitted were a product of the team not being of championship caliber.
Specific to Green, his ups and downs almost mirror those of Golden State this season. Green had to restore his reputation after a training camp puch of Jordan Poole, which was an early-season talking point around the team.
After being disciplined for his role in the preseason altercation, Green appeared in 73 games this season and was named to the All-Defensive team for a third straight year and the eighth time in his career.
There will certainly be a market for Green should he elect to enter free agency but it's clear that if he had his way, he would remain in The Bay.